electric cars

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ualdriver
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Post by ualdriver »

Now THIS is an electric car!

press release
http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=1284

specs
http://www.teslamotors.com/models/index.php

pictures
http://www.teslamotors.com/media/image_library.php

Of course, I'll believe it when I see thousands of them....
GeekedOut
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Post by GeekedOut »

ualdriver wrote:Now THIS is an electric car!

press release
http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=1284

specs
http://www.teslamotors.com/models/index.php

pictures
http://www.teslamotors.com/media/image_library.php

Of course, I'll believe it when I see thousands of them....
They've designed the battery pack to be swappable, so they say. As I said before, the Roadster uses 1,000 lbs of laptop batteries, so a heavier sedan will require more energy to move. I don't see how they can guarantee a 5 minute swap.

I would love for a highway capable electric car to be viable, but I see too much that is simply not physically or economically viable with the overhyped Tesla vehicle.

They also are supposedly going to offer separate editions, with different ranges. And of course, there's a sport edition in the works to get the 0-60 under 5 seconds.

If anyone is seriously considering buying a Tesla vehicle, please set aside $5,000 for the deposit for a test drive first.
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Post by btenny »

That laptop bursting into flames is one of the key issues with making big car batteries safe. I'm pretty sure this is one of the key reasons why Toyota and Honda and others are sticking with NiMH. That chemestry is safe. NO lawsuits. NO cars on fire. NO burned up customers. These manufacturers are scared of the amounts of Lithium in one place and the ultra ultra high reliability required to make such a large battery. Think what might happen if just one cell shorted out in that great big lithium pile and burned up the whole car or just killed the battery. At a minimum you killed a $10K part due to a $2 cell going bad. Worse case you have a $10M lawsuit due to an injured driver. Not a good strategy.

I worked on some Ford electronic car computers way back in the late 1970s and early 80s. The car guys were scared sh**less of computers causing car crashes and the libility issues. Now there are dozens of computers in every car. The technology evolved as they learned to make them fail safe. The same must happen with batteries.

Now maybe if the next generation Li Iron and Li Phosphate batteries that are just coming to market prove better these car guys may switch in the future. The key is making some stuff for other smaller applications while you test the stuff and selling it and letting technology evolve.

This lithium safety issues is why I think the Chevy Volt will not happen as currently designed. It is a libility nightmare for a big manufacturer at least for the next few years. So the big guys will just do demonstration sales of a few vehicles for the next few years. Meanwhile the small guys like Tesla can go broke if they goof up and get sued so they will drive the electric car market in the litigous USA.

Bill
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robertts12
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The pessimism with batteries

Post by robertts12 »

I think people are exagerating the problems with batteries. I know for sure that the electric vehicles I saw working with garbage are feeded with the old fashioned Pb batteries. I wonder that nobody produces an electric car with that old kind of batteries for the common persons and remember the customers that in some years they have a good chance to replace those batteries for a modern battery that will provide a better autonomy.
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robertts12
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Nissan and Seattle

Post by robertts12 »

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ualdriver
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Re: Nissan and Seattle

Post by ualdriver »

Sounds good to me. If it's closer in size to the Sentra, really goes 100 real world miles on a full charge, is safe, and has relatively modern car features, I'd consider replacing my Prius with it. Of course, I'd rather have a Model S....
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Post by mhalley »

The Chevy Volt will be using Lithium. Don't know thaty I would want a car that only does 40 miles, even though it is true that I rarely drive that far.
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Post by ualdriver »

mhalley wrote:The Chevy Volt will be using Lithium. Don't know thaty I would want a car that only does 40 miles, even though it is true that I rarely drive that far.
Mike
It only has a battery range of 40 miles. Beyond that, a gasoline generator kicks in and you'll be able to go as far as you want on gasoline.
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yesosaka
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Post by yesosaka »

When the U.S. goes 100% nuclear for electric production, these cars will catch on.
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Post by nisiprius »

ualdriver wrote:
mhalley wrote:The Chevy Volt will be using Lithium. Don't know thaty I would want a car that only does 40 miles, even though it is true that I rarely drive that far.
Mike
It only has a battery range of 40 miles. Beyond that, a gasoline generator kicks in and you'll be able to go as far as you want on gasoline.
The big question is: what will be the fuel efficiency operating in that mode?
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ualdriver
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Post by ualdriver »

nisiprius wrote:The big question is: what will be the fuel efficiency operating in that mode?
Over on one of the GM Volt forums I read, they discuss that topic now and again. The consensus, from the engineer-type guys after they do their back of the envelope scribbles with the information they do know, seems to be over 40mpg, but no one knows for sure......and of course GM ain't sayin' yet.
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robertts12
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Ford

Post by robertts12 »

ford truck plant to build electric cars.
http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/ ... tric-cars/
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preserve
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Post by preserve »

yesosaka wrote:When the U.S. goes 100% nuclear for electric production, these cars will catch on.
Not true. 100% nuclear would drop the price of oil, and petrol cars would still be used..

If US went 100% crude for energy generation, price of crude would go up and people would have to buy electric cars.

These cars are already a slam dunk. I have no clue why people are still purchasing hybrids.
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quiet

Post by robertts12 »

A journalist tests the Nissan electric.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/2 ... 8B87F2A%7D
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Re: quiet

Post by ualdriver »

robertts12 wrote:A journalist tests the Nissan electric.
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/2 ... 8B87F2A%7D
That looks like a very interesting car and it sounds like it will be coming out around the same time as the Volt. I hope the $1000 home charging station they refer to won't be required for everyone and only those that want to use 480V. Most garages probably already have 110V and a 220V circuit, if desired, is easy to do if you're handy or cheap enough if you have to hire someone.
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Post by Chastemp »

Valuethinker wrote:
BigFoot48 wrote:GM had a fun time grinding their electric cars into post-consumer metal shavings. $10,000 extra cost will buy a lot of gasoline!
And neatly opening a market opportunity to Toyota Hybrids.

Electric cars will come, no doubt, in time, but the battery problems are not yet (economically) solved.
GM didn't/couldn't compete with Toyota on hybrid's for an economic reason. Metaphorically speaking, it's hard to swim in a competition with 30 extra pounds of lead strapped around your waist. :cry: Please don't feed my inner troll with a reply, it's a slow day and the devil inside escaped and made me do this post. :lol:

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Post by nisiprius »

ualdriver wrote:
nisiprius wrote:The big question is: what will be the fuel efficiency operating in that mode?
Over on one of the GM Volt forums I read, they discuss that topic now and again. The consensus, from the engineer-type guys after they do their back of the envelope scribbles with the information they do know, seems to be over 40mpg, but no one knows for sure.....
If you can get 40 mpg with a straightforward gasoline engine-drives-generator-charges-battery-drives-electric-motor system, it's hard to understand why it took so long to do it, or why Toyota used such an interesting (and hard-to-understand) system to the Prius.

To reap the cost advantages of being able to use house electricity to charge a plug-in hybrid, you do need a big battery. But merely to get 45 mpg on gasoline, all you need is a Prius-sized battery, to make up the difference in torque between what a small engine can provide and what "normal" driving requires.
...and of course GM ain't sayin' yet.
There's no "of course" about it. That smells fishy as anything. GM has been testing the Volt for a long time now. They must know the answer by now. What possible motive would they have for not talking about it, unless it's a problem?

Why is GM positioning the Volt as a car that's only useful as a plugin hybrid with a big honkin' expensive bleeding-edge-technology battery?

If the fuel efficiency in motor-generator operation is good, why don't they also offer a lower-cost model without plugin capability? A non-plugin hybrid using the Volt power train with cheap proven Prius-style NiMH battery technology?

GM has been willing to preannounce ballpark prices on the Volt, why aren't they willing to talk about ballpark mileage-on-over-forty-mile-trips on the Volt?
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Post by stratton »

I just heard a GM radio ad for a hybrid Cadillac Escalade that gets 20 mpg in city driving. No mention of highway driving.

From a gas usage PoV this is a big win. Driving 10,000 miles at 12 mpg uses about ~83x gallons of gas. At 20 mpg it uses 500 gallons. That's three whole Prius' improved from 50 mpg to 100 mpg. :wink:

What an unfriendly website. It insists on using only flash or it won't work. I'm not loading flash. Obviously they don't want to sell vehicles since their web site is broken.

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Post by ualdriver »

nisiprius wrote:If you can get 40 mpg with a straightforward gasoline engine-drives-generator-charges-battery-drives-electric-motor system, it's hard to understand why it took so long to do it, or why Toyota used such an interesting (and hard-to-understand) system to the Prius.
Toyota has been making them for 12 years. Was there a general demand for hybrids in the U.S. 12 years ago? I doubt it, but I don't know. I'm not sure why Toyota chose the complicated system they did, but it works well.
nisiprius wrote: What possible motive would they have for not talking about it, unless it's a problem?
Well, I think I know one or two good reasons. First, they just recently (within the past couple of months I think) picked the supplier of their battery. I'm sure they want to run the mules around awhile with their chosen battery, in final configuration, and see what they're getting for mileage. There is little doubt in my mind that GM is still dinking around with the battery, the motors, the software, and what they ultimately decide to do with all of this will determine what kind of mileage the car ultimately gets. Second, I think GM is being very, very cautious about over promising and under delivering. I think they're trying to get as much data as possible before promising anything.

Or, maybe they are having problems. Who knows? If they are having any serious problems concerning this particular issue, it certainly hasn't leaked out.
nisiprius wrote:Why is GM positioning the Volt as a car that's only useful as a plugin hybrid with a big honkin' expensive bleeding-edge-technology battery?
Because I think GM wants to differentiate themselves from what is currently out there which are basically parallel hybrids, specifically the Prius and now the Insight. With GM's series hybrid design, many people (like me hopefully) will go from 14mpg (my old car) to 52mpg (my Prius) to probably like a few hundred miles per gallon (series hybrid like a Volt). Personally, I also think they underestimated the production cost of the vehicle whey they initially launched the program!
nisiprius wrote:If the fuel efficiency in motor-generator operation is good, why don't they also offer a lower-cost model without plugin capability? A non-plugin hybrid using the Volt power train with cheap proven Prius-style NiMH battery technology?
Maybe they will in the future. They have a couple now, but nothing smaller than the Malibu. But I think with GM's current problems, the Volt is all they can handle. If the Volt is successful and the electrification of our automobiles becomes more mainstream, I think we'll see lots of different configurations from the surviving car manufacturers, including GM.

I'm certainly not trying to defend GM although it might sound like I am. I just think it's great to see GM innovate and I think if they pull the Volt debut off successfully, we're going to see a whole new generation of automobiles. If it fails, maybe the competition provided by GM's Volt will push someone else to make something better.
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Post by btenny »

I'm sorry but I think GM is bringing the wrong car to market as ususal. Just like the Cadilac Escalade Hybrid and the bad GM website. The Volt will be way over priced because it is a totally new car body design with a thousand new costly features and a lot of new costly tooling setups to amortize. This will kill it cost effectiveness. Then there is the issue of all that bleeding edge advanced technology that must be debugged (which GM is not know to do real well) before they sell a few so all the early cars will likely be lemons. Look at the test car described. It had no gas powered generator or mileage extender and that is the hardest part of the design. So too bad too sad for GM from my viewpoint.

Oh and then there is the battery reliability issue. On current generation hybrids GM is the only car manufacturer to recall a lot of batteries.

Instead GM should have been worrying about about loosing there franchise Vette market to the Tesla roadster. The Volt does nothing to stop this lose of market in an area where price is not an issue. Many Vette loyalists are switching. See last nights Dateline report. Current Vette loyalists who have bought Tesla roadsters raved about the car and all its features. They are parking there Vettes in favor of the Tesla and that is a quote.

Bill
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Post by btenny »

By the way 40 MPG is really normal in Europe for diesel cars. Look at the Jetta TDI. See here.

http://www.vw.com/vwbuzz/browse/en/us/d ... e_year/271

This car is a very nice small sedan. It is available today. It meets the US pollution rules. It is peppy and nice to drive. It is a roomy well equiped 4 door sedan and costs like $24K total well equiped. It is the 2009 Green car of the Year. It is available now. So unless there is some miracle at GM on battery pricing this VW and similar cars will be much more practical for a young family than a $35K Volt. Sorry to repeat myself but when someone does something stupid it bothers me especiually when they keep repeating the same mistakes. GM is making the wrong car.

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Post by preserve »

btenny wrote: Instead GM should have been worrying about about loosing there franchise Vette market to the Tesla roadster. The Volt does nothing to stop this lose of market in an area where price is not an issue. Many Vette loyalists are switching. See last nights Dateline report. Current Vette loyalists who have bought Tesla roadsters raved about the car and all its features. They are parking there Vettes in favor of the Tesla and that is a quote.

Bill
What you say about GM, really goes for all car manufacturers including Toyota and Honda.

The hybrids are a joke. None of these guys are producing sub 1,000 pound cars with carbon-composits yet. Not very hard..
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Post by fishndoc »

mhalley wrote:The Chevy Volt will be using Lithium. Don't know thaty I would want a car that only does 40 miles, even though it is true that I rarely drive that far.
Mike
Forgive my very limited knowledge of electric vehicles, but why only a 40 mile battery range for the Volt, carry one or two passenger, when Ford has this electric cargo van (scheduled to be in US dealerships next year) with a 1760# cargo capacity, and a battery range of 100 miles?

http://www.gizmag.com/fords-battery-ele ... ect/10948/


Image

Wayne
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Post by ualdriver »

fishndoc wrote: Forgive my very limited knowledge of electric vehicles, but why only a 40 mile battery range for the Volt, carry one or two passenger, when Ford has this electric cargo van (scheduled to be in US dealerships next year) with a 1760# cargo capacity, and a battery range of 100 miles?

Wayne
Wayne-

The volt will carry 4 people. It should be 5 but apparently there's a "tunnel" down the center of the car (makes space for the battery) which interferes with the middle of the rear seat. Also the Volt will be able to travel as far as you want, but only 40 miles on battery supposedly.

That Ford van will probably be a little pricey compared to the Volt. Batteries aren't cheap, and I've read that Ford's battery powered van will have 45kWh+ of battery capacity, vs. the Volt's 16kWh battery. So battery costs along will probably be 3x what a Volt owner will be paying.
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Post by Valuethinker »

stratton wrote:I just heard a GM radio ad for a hybrid Cadillac Escalade that gets 20 mpg in city driving. No mention of highway driving.

From a gas usage PoV this is a big win. Driving 10,000 miles at 12 mpg uses about ~83x gallons of gas. At 20 mpg it uses 500 gallons. That's three whole Prius' improved from 50 mpg to 100 mpg. :wink:

What an unfriendly website. It insists on using only flash or it won't work. I'm not loading flash. Obviously they don't want to sell vehicles since their web site is broken.

Paul
Unsurprisingly you have nailed it with your analysis.

Doubling a car from 10mpg to 20mpg saves 500 gals a year say.

Doubling it again to 40mpg only saves another 250 gals. Doubling it to 80mpg only saves another 125 gals.

It's actually gallons per mile which is the right performance metric (litres per 100 km).

Just moving large US vehicles to diesels would have a big impact on US gas consumption. More than getting obsessed with hybrids.

However it would not be as 'green' for various reasons (diesel has higher energy and hence carbon content per gallon) and would cause urban air pollution problems (the main brake so far on diesel deployment).

Also we have the GM factor (who else?). In the late 70s, GM put a bunch of diesel cars on the road, and they were complete lemons. The American public is conditioned that diesels are noisy, smelly and unreliable. The European public thinks diesels are cars with great fuel economy (70% new cars sold in France are diesel).

This is reminiscent of so many problems in society. The bottom 20%, if you can fix it, (be it in schoolchildren or employees or homeless or fuel guzzling cars or energy inefficient buildings), has a big impact on the average performance and the societal outcome. And often the fixes are relatively cheap.

Mandate that US cars and vehicles *have* to get 20mpg*. Or pay a $3000 per car penalty tax, say. It's the cheap win in fuel economy.

http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_13_a_murray.html

explores some of the consequences of Pareto's Law (the 80-20 rule).


* I realize this is partly how the SUV was created ie the mpg laws did not include pickups, due to lobbying, and so the car which was really a pickup was developed. However if you use a penalty tax solution, rather than simply a law, you tilt the economics but there isn't as much incentive to 'end run' it.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Tue May 12, 2009 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Valuethinker »

ualdriver wrote:
fishndoc wrote: Forgive my very limited knowledge of electric vehicles, but why only a 40 mile battery range for the Volt, carry one or two passenger, when Ford has this electric cargo van (scheduled to be in US dealerships next year) with a 1760# cargo capacity, and a battery range of 100 miles?

Wayne
Wayne-

The volt will carry 4 people. It should be 5 but apparently there's a "tunnel" down the center of the car (makes space for the battery) which interferes with the middle of the rear seat. Also the Volt will be able to travel as far as you want, but only 40 miles on battery supposedly.

That Ford van will probably be a little pricey compared to the Volt. Batteries aren't cheap, and I've read that Ford's battery powered van will have 45kWh+ of battery capacity, vs. the Volt's 16kWh battery. So battery costs along will probably be 3x what a Volt owner will be paying.
There is an old thing about American cos. v Japanese.

American cos, and the American military, are prone to big 'breakthrough' innovations. If they work, they game change. Such as the Intel microprocessor, the router, the web browser, the Amazon business model, MS Windows, the Apple Mac etc.

The Japanese like continuous, incremental innovation. They are also quite process oriented-- better ways of making the same thing. Dell's innovation was to copy Toyota's manufacturing processes.

Think of it as the rabbit and the turtle racing.

The American approch works better in fast changing industries where you can leap ahead of your competitor and dominate your market. Or dominate the battlespace with a paradigm-breaking military innovation. When it works, it is the F22 (we hope), when it fails, it is the Osprey (or the Sergeant York (a radar directed anti-aircraft gun that machine gunned the review stand when it was first tested), or the Crusader artillery piece, an 80 ton 'mobile gun') or the M551 Sheridan (a tank that burst into flame after firing its shell).

In business, when it works, you are the next Microsoft, or the iPod. When it fails, you are the CDO.

The Japanese approach works better in industries where the market is more established, the dominant industry pattern is established.

So we have the new Honda Hybrid. A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down. A cheap Prius.

So for GM, the Volt could have been a game changer. But they have neither the time, nor the balance sheet, to pursue it.
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Post by grumel »

I'm sorry but I think GM is bringing the wrong car to market as ususal.
<15 billion subsidies, > 1 billion development costs. Dont worry, in that case, GM knows what they are doing.

When the environment and saveing fashion wave is gone and the economic takes off again, GM can resort to selling the products they actually have some comperative advantage, or at least the smallest disadvantage (and best protected by high import tariffs): Big kawumm cars for a niche that only exists on the US market.
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Post by Valuethinker »

grumel wrote:
I'm sorry but I think GM is bringing the wrong car to market as ususal.
<15 billion subsidies, > 1 billion development costs. Dont worry, in that case, GM knows what they are doing.

When the environment and saveing fashion wave is gone and the economic takes off again, GM can resort to selling the products they actually have some comperative advantage, or at least the smallest disadvantage (and best protected by high import tariffs): Big kawumm cars for a niche that only exists on the US market.
The European subsidies to carmakers are getting frightening: Tata (Jaguar Rover), Germany, Peugeot.

The world can make, from what I have read, 3 cars for every 2 demanded (or at least 4 for every 3). Until companies like Chrysler are gone, this is not going to resolve itself.
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Post by nisiprius »

Valuethinker wrote:A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down.
According to press pictures, the new Honda Insight will look astonishingly similar to the Prius.

I'm thinking that will have an interesting effect, in that it will cement the Toyota Prius/Honda Insight appearance as the hybrid "look." It will create an impression that there are twice as many hybrids on the road as before, make hybrids look more mainstream, and help both Toyota. Sort of the way Coke advertising increases sales for both Coke and Pepsi.
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Post by stratton »

nisiprius wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down.
According to press pictures, the new Honda Insight will look astonishingly similar to the Prius.

I'm thinking that will have an interesting effect, in that it will cement the Toyota Prius/Honda Insight appearance as the hybrid "look." It will create an impression that there are twice as many hybrids on the road as before, make hybrids look more mainstream, and help both Toyota. Sort of the way Coke advertising increases sales for both Coke and Pepsi.
It's a very efficient design.

It's aerodynamic.

There's actual space in the back. A friends 2008 Prius has almost 5' of space with the backseat down. There is almost 18 or 20" of height before the slope on the hatch starts. No ugly 4" hatch rim drop like a Subaru Imprezza which makes it hard to get stuff out. Very efficient use of space and it can actually haul "stuff." Way more than a sedan with a trunk.

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Post by Valuethinker »

nisiprius wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down.
According to press pictures, the new Honda Insight will look astonishingly similar to the Prius.

I'm thinking that will have an interesting effect, in that it will cement the Toyota Prius/Honda Insight appearance as the hybrid "look." It will create an impression that there are twice as many hybrids on the road as before, make hybrids look more mainstream, and help both Toyota. Sort of the way Coke advertising increases sales for both Coke and Pepsi.
It will be *cheaper*.

That opens a whole new market. Not as a lifestyle statement, but as an economical car.

You start to 'cross the chasm' from the early adopters and experimenters to the mainstream customers.
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Post by Boglenaut »

Valuethinker wrote:
nisiprius wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down.
According to press pictures, the new Honda Insight will look astonishingly similar to the Prius.

I'm thinking that will have an interesting effect, in that it will cement the Toyota Prius/Honda Insight appearance as the hybrid "look." It will create an impression that there are twice as many hybrids on the road as before, make hybrids look more mainstream, and help both Toyota. Sort of the way Coke advertising increases sales for both Coke and Pepsi.
It will be *cheaper*.

That opens a whole new market. Not as a lifestyle statement, but as an economical car.

You start to 'cross the chasm' from the early adopters and experimenters to the mainstream customers.
It'll all come down to the economics in the long term.
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Post by preserve »

Boglenaut wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
nisiprius wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:A clear 'me too' vehicle but with cost engineered down.
According to press pictures, the new Honda Insight will look astonishingly similar to the Prius.

I'm thinking that will have an interesting effect, in that it will cement the Toyota Prius/Honda Insight appearance as the hybrid "look." It will create an impression that there are twice as many hybrids on the road as before, make hybrids look more mainstream, and help both Toyota. Sort of the way Coke advertising increases sales for both Coke and Pepsi.
It will be *cheaper*.

That opens a whole new market. Not as a lifestyle statement, but as an economical car.

You start to 'cross the chasm' from the early adopters and experimenters to the mainstream customers.
It'll all come down to the economics in the long term.
That is the interesting part. Eventually it will not be economical to have CPU or Hard-disks on Desktops. . Possibly at the same time, it will not be economical to have 20k of overhead sitting idle and taking up space in a garage.

Most factory or store type workers will have access to public transportation (ie salary range / high density housing). People with other jobs, will telecommute and/or live in bicycling clusters.

Less spending would also be done on roads, insurance, accidents, police, EMS. We might even get rid of drunk drivers.
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Post by Valuethinker »

Boglenaut wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
It will be *cheaper*.

That opens a whole new market. Not as a lifestyle statement, but as an economical car.

You start to 'cross the chasm' from the early adopters and experimenters to the mainstream customers.
It'll all come down to the economics in the long term.
Until new consumer products have crossed the chasm, price isn't a major factor.

When you hit that point, where economies of scale and scope are such that the price begins to fall with output increases, then you see the mass market effects kick in.

For a volume car, this is somewhere over 500k units pa, probably 1m pa for any given platform (from memory, about 1% of world car sales). A hybrid is complex, so it will likely come later. Prius is there, more or less, and Honda is aiming to achieve that as well.
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Post by eucalyptus »

"Instead GM should have been worrying about about loosing there franchise Vette market to the Tesla roadster. The Volt does nothing to stop this lose of market in an area where price is not an issue. Many Vette loyalists are switching. See last nights Dateline report. Current Vette loyalists who have bought Tesla roadsters raved about the car and all its features. They are parking there Vettes in favor of the Tesla and that is a quote."



The Tesla is cool but I seriously doubt that a $101,000, limited production, limited range, limited practicality curio will put much of a dent in Vette sales. Makes a good story, but no sense IMO.
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Post by btenny »

Euc,

Ordinarilly I would agree that Vette owners are loyal but that Dateline show really said a lot. I would post a link to the show but I could not find a video. The show segment featured two Vette owners who used to buy new cars every year just to get the latest models. I have a friend like this and money is not a big deal to him as he can afford most any car he wants, he just wants the new latest cool sports car. He has maybe 6-10 cars. The issue is car guys like him buy and sell cars often and make up a huge percentage of Vette sales. Dealers order special order expensive cars for guys like this. Other buyers who buy a single Vette once may be less at risk but do they constitute a large number of buyers?

On the Dateline show each guy bought a Tesla and had parked his Vette completely. Both guys were so in love with the Tesla that they had stopped driving their Vettes for months and the one guy said he had put down deposits for two more Tesla sedans rather than buy a new Vette.

So yes I think the Vette franchise is very much at risk. The GTO and the 442 and the T-bird went away when other alternatives came along. Who knows for sure but electric motors offer a lot of advantages for car performance if the battery issues can be addressed so ????

Bill
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Post by eucalyptus »

Bill, thanks for replying. I agree that the Corvette and other performance cars will be replaced by something else, hybrid, electric, something, and probably sooner than we think.

Maybe I'm quibbling and, if so, I apologize. It seems to me that the Tesla has such limited production and limited practicality, and such a high price point, that it just can't materially hurt sales of a comparatively high volume car like the Vette.

I do think the government involvement in managing the auto industry could adversely affect production of high performance cars, but we'll see.

I like the Tesla, and toyed with trying to order one, but again it seems to me to be a choice for early adopter/enthusiasts, and I'll wait for the next generation.
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preserve
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Post by preserve »

Valuethinker wrote: Until new consumer products have crossed the chasm, price isn't a major factor.
Its 2009 and price is "THE" factor. Any retailer that has survived till now will tell you that.
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Daimler & Tesla

Post by robertts12 »

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Post by btenny »

I suspect Daimler is going to try to rape Tesla for battery knowledge to put in MB cars. Maybe the small MB sports cars to start and then more mainstream stuff in the future. Just like they stole Jeep 4x4 technology for the MB brand. They did that quite successfully and now MB has great 4 x 4 SUV vehicles... When Daimler ran the Jeep brand they left Chrysler in ruins. Will they do the same to Tesla???

Bill
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Post by preserve »

btenny wrote:I suspect Daimler is going to try to rape Tesla for battery knowledge to put in MB cars. Maybe the small MB sports cars to start and then more mainstream stuff in the future. Just like they stole Jeep 4x4 technology for the MB brand. They did that quite successfully and now MB has great 4 x 4 SUV vehicles... When Daimler ran the Jeep brand they left Chrysler in ruins. Will they do the same to Tesla???

Bill
The article is way over-hyped. I think its a trial run / open books invitation to Daimler for a buy out. The only thing different after the deal is that Telsa gets lower cost distribution. I think mercedes has a lot of slack real estate available on their lots, so this comes with very little cost.

If tradition holds true, the Auto industry bought Telsa to stop innovation.

Telsa is done. Next start up please..

There is a possibility that Mercedes becomes Telsa and Musik becomes CEO of that. He did that with paypal when they bought out x.com
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ford focus all electric

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Interwiev: Shai Agassi

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Post by ualdriver »

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Post by chaz »

The Rampart casino in Las Vegas announced that it now has a charging station for electric car batteries. No other details available.
Chaz | | “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons." Woody Allen | | http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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preserve
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Post by preserve »

$30k after government subsidies for an electric car isn't bad.

I can't wait for people to start tuning electric cars.
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Post by cjking »

Nissan Motor has entered the worldwide battle for dominance of the green car market with plans to produce 100,000 electric vehicles a year at its plant in Tennessee.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, said that he hoped to produce electric vehicles that would compete on price with “normal cars” by next year.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 565266.ece
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Post by Valuethinker »

cjking wrote:
Nissan Motor has entered the worldwide battle for dominance of the green car market with plans to produce 100,000 electric vehicles a year at its plant in Tennessee.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, said that he hoped to produce electric vehicles that would compete on price with “normal cars” by next year.
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 565266.ece
The key to this technology is the 'hot swap' of battery packs, plus the charging points.

This is changing the *system* of transport, rather than changing what powers our cars. Electric motors give good acceleration, it's not a primary performance problem, it's an energy storage problem (which won't be quickly fixed).

http://boingboing.net/2009/03/19/interv ... elect.html

if you recall the Arnie Schwarzenneger film 'Total Recall' there is a vision of 'Johnny Cabs'-- robot controlled cabs which provide local transport.

We are going that way. In the sense that we won't own cars, or if we do, we won't own the powerpacks. (weekends are different-- then, we will probably own cars as hobbies, pay loads of tax to drive them, a bit like flying now)

Since there is no other feasible way to get to the sort of 80-90% reductions in emissions from transport that we need to achieve, except electric power (with clean generation sources), then this is the way that we will go.

For my money, what I would like to see governments doing right now is encourage electric vehicles for commercial vehicle use (delivery vans). These are heavily used, used heavily in local traffic (which creates the most pollution, and is the least energy efficient). And there is plenty of precedent: battery powered vans are not new.

Interestingly half of known lithium reserves are in Bolivia, which poses all kinds of political and investment risks.

EDIT

The thing with 'cars' is that they offer a consumption possibility with a number of characteristics, and that is what you have to try to duplicate:

- get and go
- almost universally available and driveable (hence the rental car phenomenon)- -anybody over 16 can get out there on the roads after passing a minimal competency test
- point to point, individual chooses start and destination
- significant congestion and time costs arising from other users
- 'testosterone factor' arising from sense of personal property, acceleration and noise, etc.-- most drivers drive alone, most of the time

Factors which are harder to duplicate are:

- 'ownership' - modern cars are essentially all alike with very similar performance envelopes, but try to convince a car owner of that. My BMW is most assuredly not your boring sensible Toyota. My SUV keeps me 'safe' even when it doesn't, etc.

(studies of SUV buyers by Chrysler showed that if they *lowered* the external visibility of the car by putting in smaller aft windows, they *increased* the sense of security the customers felt. As a general point, car buyers are not fully rational).

If you look at the technologies, then compressed air and batteries are the only two around that offer a reasonable chance of doing all this with 90%+ emission reductions (assuming clean electricity generation). The good news on compressed air is that the expansion of the air produces its own air conditioning! A handy feature.

In a context of a world with 1 or 2 billion cars (as opposed to say 500 million now) this is all terribly daunting. But it will happen.

Interestingly the military may become a significant driver. The vast fuel requirements of many army vehicles (an M1 Abrams tank burns 2 gallons a mile) significantly restricts the operational flexibility of army units (remember that fuel is often helicoptered in).

In a funny way, it would be great if we ran out of oil just about now, because it would make us focus on the inevitable transition.
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Post by nisiprius »

preserve wrote:
$30k after government subsidies for an electric car isn't bad.
But the Coda article says it costs $45,000. I don't think you get a $15,000 break on it, do you? And you do get some kind of break on a Toyota Prius ($23,000 and perfectly acceptable at that trim level, I know two people who actually bought those low-end models) or Honda Insight (what, $20,000?) (And I'm sure $45,000 is just the base price for the Coda and it will cost more "nicely equipped.")

Even after subsidies I think you'll still be able to buy almost TWO decent "unassuming 4-door-5-passenger" over-45-mpg gas-only hybrids for the price of a Coda. Or a gas-only hybrid and twenty really nice bicycles. Or a gas-only hybrid and half a year of college.

I just can't see how any $45,000 car is going to compete against $25,000 cars that are seemingly comparable in every way except engine technology.

If you drive an Insight or Prius 20,000 miles a year at 40 mpg and pay $4 a gallon for gas (trying to make everything conservative!), you use 500 gallons and pay $2,000 a year. If you are able to replace all of those 20,000 miles of driving on electricity--in an electric car or a Volt within its electric range--and if electricity costs nothing, you save at most $2,000 a year and it takes 10 years to make up the difference between a $25,000 gas-only hybrid and a $45,000 electric car or plug-in hybrid.

And that doesn't count the inevitable cost of personal adaptation to a new way of doing things (how much does it cost to install the charger station in your home? I don't have a garage, are they totally weatherproof, or would I need to build a garage? Do they really run off my existing, rather aging wiring or do I need to have an electrician install more? Will the electric company want it to be on a separate meter and will they have some startup or installation cost for that, etc. etc.)
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Post by bmb »

Taking the long view, the future is electric and solar. Some day people will wonder why we had to use old dead liquified animals for fuel when solar is virtually free and non-polluting. The big question is when: 25 years, 50 years? Electric cars are a given. The question remaining is, as solar is developed, what interim steps are desirable to provide that electricity?
Hybrids were first offered 10 years ago by Toyota and Honda. Every major manufacturer now offers them, governments are providing new incentives, the pace of technology is accelerating, and the price of gas is unlikely to stay low. As the first plug-ins are coming to market, it's not hard to imagine that in another 10 years the hybrid will be the primary new vehicle sold, and plug-ins will be at least as prevalent as hybrids are today.
Of course powerful interests profiting from the status quo and the established infrastructure will fight to delay this as long as possible. Oil companies, many in the auto industry, and others are still engaged in a rear guard action against it, but it is a sign of inevitability that they don't do it explicitly and are forced to pay lip service to the new technology.
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